Coyotes and recolonizing wolves: social rank mediates risk-conditional behaviour at ungulate carcasses
Wolf, Canis lupus, recolonization of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem provides a rare opportunity to identify behaviours facilitating coexistence between sympatric canids. We investigated interactions between coyotes, Canis latrans, and recolonizing wolves at ungulate carcasses in Montana's Madison Range. We used a field-experimental study design consisting of a two-level carcass treatment (wolf presence, wolf absence) to assess factors influencing coyote risk assessment, carrion consumption and aggressive encounters with wolves. Socially dominant coyotes (alphas and betas) responded to wolf presence by increasing the proportion of time spent vigilant while scavenging. Vigilance behaviour was more pronounced when...